This year under the banner of “camp,” the ballroom scene came to the Met Gala. And vogued down mama!
There are few spaces more inherently camp than the ballroom scene, so it was only appropriate that for this year’s annual Met Gala, themed around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibit, members of the community were in attendance. It kicked off with the likes of Dominique Jackson, known to the community as the icon Tyra Allure, walking the red carpet in a Victor Glemaud gown with a “halo” by Saga Furs. And of course there were the members of the Pose family with Billy Porter making an entrance worthy of a grand prize. But the inclusion continued, well into the event.
Though the red carpet is the main event for Met Gala spectators, for actual attendees, it’s only the beginning. After ascending the steps into the museum, there’s a seated dinner with performances. And this year, amongst those performance — headlined by none other than Cher, camp queen — was a performance by members of the ballroom scene and the House of Gorgeous. And while there is a pretty strict “no cell phones” policy, due to a few rule breakers, clips of the performance have leaked online.
“In the name of Alloura, in the name of Kassandra,” Jack Mizrahi, the commentator and MC for the performance said on the mic, referencing Kassandra Ebony and Alloura Jourdan-Zion of the ballroom community that have proven formative to the art of vogue fem dramatics as we know it today, but have both passed. “We bring our full selves into the building. Clap your hands!” Clap their hands they did.
A creation of Mizrahi, the House of Gorgeous isn’t a ballroom house in the traditional sense; members of the community don’t take on the house name and walk as a group at balls. Instead, it’s more of a mainstream facing collective of notable members of various houses, generally performing in the mainstream. And what a lineup it was.
In addition to Jack Mizrahi himself, who is one of the most internationally known ballroom commentators, the performance included the likes of Jose Xtravaganza, who first came to the forefront as a backup dancer for Madonna’s “Vogue,” Amazon Leiomy, who initially made her mark as the first trans woman on America’s Best Dance Crew but hasn’t left the public consciousness since, and Slim 007, all of whom (along with Mizrahi) fill pretty important roles on Pose. But in addition there was Sinia Alaia, the blueprint of sexy performance, Dashaun Lanvin, the self-proclaimed King of Vogue, Alex Miyake-Mugler, who has performed for Rihanna, FKA Twigs, and was a lead in Viceland’s My House, and more like Justin LaBeija, Tati 007, and Asia Balenciaga. A list honey!
As a master of getting a crowd to its feet, Mizrahi weaved in and around the crowd wearing a full length green fur coat, pumping them up, calling out names like Billy Porter, Joan Collins, and more.
“J Lo,” he said at one point, “this one’s for you.” The music switched into a version of Lopez’s song “Tens,” that the pair collaborated on. It brought the singer and entertainer to her feet giving a bit of a hand performance along the way. We are talking about a performance.
“Season 2 Pose, Tuesday June 11th 11pm,” Mizrahi said to close out the set. “Catch it!” Well, you heard the man.